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Mind over Matter | 9 May, 2019

Mind over Matter | 9 May, 2019

Sentinel Digital Desk

Gariasi Dutta

  1. Q. My 10-year old son is not interested in completing his homework. He keeps making excuses and tries to avoid his homework most of the times. He keeps watching cartoon in between. Scolding, hitting – nothing works. Please help. I am at my wits end.

(Name withheld)

Ans: As guardians it is very important that we provide a positive homework atmosphere for your child that is free of clutter and distractions, including television. Television is a big NO during study hours. Further, please show your child that you are interested in his work. Re-explain assignments if necessary and check to see that homework is completed. Whenever he completes his homework successfully, praise him or give a reward. A small token will do. But it will keep him motivated. Though don't make a habit of giving him a reward daily. That will take the novelty away. Don't constantly show your anxiety to him. Children tend to pick up their parents mood. Please try this out and let me know.

  1. My daughter is 8 years old. Please give me some tips on discipline as I don't want to take risk of any emotional damage later on. Kindly advice.

(Name withheld)

Ans: Many times, children distract their parents with their naughtiness and disobedience. Children whose parents discipline them by hitting, nagging, or shouting at them on a regular basis, have a tendency to be more violent and aggressive than other children who are disciplined through other means. It is important for you as a parent to establish authority over your daughter but without getting into a power struggle.

Consistency is important at this stage. Your daughter should be made to believe that you mean what you say. You should try and follow through with what you say. Be careful not to make unrealistic threats of punishment in anger, since not following through could weaken all your threats. Severe punishments may take away your power as a parent.

  1. Hi Madam, I am 17 years old. I love one girl. She also loves me. We are from different religions. I am not proposing to her as I feel that our parents will not accept this relation. What can I do? Please help me.

(Name withheld)

Ans: I do empathise with your situation. Love and relationship is important in our lives. However you are very young presently. It would not be a good idea to embark on a relationship now. Be friends for now. See how things work out in the future. Take care.

(Ms. Gariasi Dutta, MSW (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai) is Psychological Counsellor with down town hospital, Guwahati, Assam. She can be contacted at 98640-55560 or

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